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Does Your Online Business Need Public Liability Insurance?

Running an online business can leave you open to significant legal risks. If you want to guard against these types of threats, you need to get insurance. Here are some of the types you might need:

Public Liability Insurance

Interacting with members of the public carries with it significant risks—even if you're an online-only retailer.

That’s where public liability insurance comes in. Public liability insurance protects you if one of your customers or a member of the public gets hurt because of something your business did.

What Does Public Liability Insurance Cover?

BODILY INJURY: Covers expenses if somebody is hurt.

PROPERTY DAMAGE: Covers damage to somebody's property.

LEGAL EXPENSES: Covers the cost of hiring an attorney to represent your business in a lawsuit brought by a customer.

Without public liability insurance, you could be responsible for paying astronomical out-of-pocket fees. It's an excellent idea to have public liability coverage for your online business if you:

  • Operate your enterprise from a physical location you own or rent

  • Own physical or digital property that can get stolen or damaged (like inventory or customer data)

Your online business isn't just a website. You also use social media, email, and other digital channels to carry out your business activities. All this commercial activity leaves you wide open to potential legal troubles.

Here are some situations where public liability insurance can help:

  • A shutterbug sues you because you used their picture of a zebra longwing butterfly without correct attribution

  • A business owner brings your company to court because the name you chose for your business is eerily similar to theirs

  • A hacker gets into your online payment system and pilfers customers’ credit card information

Data Breach Insurance

Lots of Internet-based businesses store confidential or sensitive information. If this describes your company, you should think about getting data breach insurance.

This type of coverage can help cover your costs to notify affected customers, offer credit monitoring services, and repair your company’s heavily damaged reputation.

Business Owner's Policy for Online Business (BOP)

Many small businesses have a Business Owner Policy (BOP). This is an excellent type of insurance for online businesses to have because it combines three types of coverage in one policy.

With a BOP, your online business has:

  • GENERAL LIABILITY INSURANCE: this safeguards you against claims of bodily injury or property damage.

  • COMMERCIAL PROPERTY INSURANCE: to help protect the physical location, equipment, or tools your company uses.

  • BUSINESS INCOME INSURANCE: to help cover lost revenue if you can't run your business because of a covered loss, such as property damage.

Product Liability Insurance

Product liability insurance covers you and your company if something you sell online injures someone or damages their property.

With this type of insurance, your legal costs are taken care of if you end up in court.

Professional Liability Insurance

Professional liability insurance shields you if a client thinks you are guilty of gross negligence because of a service you provided for them.

Your Best Source of Reliable Legal Advice

As an online business owner, you’re facing more challenges than you ever did.

Sooner or later, you’re going to need reliable legal advice to get you ready for the next stage of your entrepreneurial journey.

That’s where Emerald Law comes in. When you enlist our assistance, we’ll be in your corner every step of the way as you navigate the dizzying complexities of the current business landscape.


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